‘We Won’t Censor But We Do Have Rules’: Spotify Finally Responds To Joe Rogan Controversy

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'We Won't Censor But We Do Have Rules': Spotify Finally Responds To Joe Rogan Controversy

Spotify has responded to criticism leveled against its star podcaster –
anti-vaxxer 
Joe Rogan – and now says that while it won’t censor its content, it will
dish out consequences for those who don’t follow the rules. 

The streaming giant shared its new ‘platform rules and approach’ Sunday,
hours after it was revealed that 
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were worried about
pandemic-related misinformation shared via the outlet. 

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex – who inked a $25 million deal with
Spotify – said they have reached out to the music streaming giant to ‘express
our concerns’ about Rogan’s podcast.

The couple shared their objections as Spotify faced an exodus of talent
including Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, and Bruce Springsteen guitarist Nils
Lofgren.  Podcaster Brené Brown said she is ‘pausing’ her channel and Foo
Fighters’ Dave Grohl is also rumored to be leaving the platform.  

Young after leaving the platform attempted to lure fans toward Amazon
Music, offering a free four-month subscription to new users. 

Spotify said the pressure it faced in recent weeks prompted it to
reevaluate – and ultimately change – its policies. It said while it would not
‘take on the position of a content censor,’ it would enforce the rules.

‘It’s become clear to me that we have an obligation to do more to
provide balance and access to widely-accepted information from the medical and
scientific communities guiding us through this unprecedented time,’ Spotify’s
chief executive Daniel Ek said in an online 
statement. ‘These issues are incredibly complex.’

Ek said his company is working to add a content advisory to all
podcast episodes that discuss Covid.

‘This advisory will direct listeners to our dedicated COVID-19 Hub, a
resource that provides easy access to data-driven facts, up-to-date information
as shared by scientists, physicians, academics and public health authorities
around the world, as well as links to trusted sources,’ he said.

‘This new effort to combat misinformation will roll out to countries around
the world in the coming days. To our knowledge, this content advisory is the
first of its kind by a major podcast platform.’

He said his team is also exploring ways to promote its platform
rules so that content creators better understand the expectations.

‘We take this seriously and will continue to partner with experts and
invest heavily in our platform functionality and product capabilities for the
benefit of creators and listeners alike,’ Ek said. ‘That doesn’t mean that we
always get it right, but we are committed to learning, growing and
evolving.’ 

'We Won't Censor But We Do Have Rules': Spotify Finally Responds To Joe Rogan Controversy

'We Won't Censor But We Do Have Rules': Spotify Finally Responds To Joe Rogan Controversy
Spotify released a statement Sunday saying that while it doesn’t always ‘get it right, we are committed to learning, growing and evolving’

'We Won't Censor But We Do Have Rules': Spotify Finally Responds To Joe Rogan Controversy

It comes as artists ditch the platform for hosting The Joe Rogan Experience where he talks about vaccines

Despite their concerns, the Sussexes have not split with the firm,
instead of saying they were ‘committed to continuing our work together’ as it
addressed their issues.

A spokesman for the Sussexes said: ‘Since the inception of [their
non-profit organization] Archewell, we have worked to address the real-time
global misinformation crisis.

‘Hundreds of millions of people are affected by the serious harms of
mis- and disinformation every day.

‘Last April, our co-founders began expressing concerns to our partners
at Spotify about the all too real consequences of Covid misinformation on its
platform.

‘We have continued to express our concerns to Spotify to ensure changes
to its platform are made to help address this public health crisis.

‘We look to Spotify to meet this moment and are committed to continuing
our work together as it does.’  

Bruce Springsteen guitarist and Neil Young bandmate Nils Lofgren also
became the latest musician to take his solo work off the streaming service
today.

He wrote in Young’s newsletter that he was joining his bandmate in
‘standing with hundreds of health care professionals, scientists, doctors and
nurses’ in criticizing Spotify over its role in ‘promoting lies and
misinformation’ regarding Covid. 

His announcement comes as Spotify faces an exodus of talent as Brené
Brown and Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl were also rumoured to be following Neil
Young and Joni Mitchell off the platform. 

Spotify announced the partnership with the Sussexes’ Archewell Audio in
December 2020 as they wanted to ‘elevate underrepresented voices’.

But aside from a 33-minute ‘holiday special’ that month there has been a
deafening silence.

After the deal resulted in only one show being streamed, it is
advertising for in-house staff to cover ‘every step’ of the process. 

The latest move follows Harry and Meghan adding two more ‘entertainment’
companies to their growing business empire in Delaware.

The pair, who stepped back from royal duty last year, are setting up a
complex network of companies all based in the opaque tax haven state.

Spotify had said it expected the first ‘complete series’ from Archewell
Audio in 2021 but has since given no further updates.

In July, Archewell hired an experienced podcast producer, Rebecca
Sananes, and confirmed it was ‘looking forward to sharing more content later in
2021’. 

Now Spotify is hiring producers through its podcast arm, Gimlet, to work
with Archewell Audio. 

The jobs are being offered to applicants on six-month contracts based in
Los Angeles. 

One advert for a senior producer role read: ‘We’re currently assembling
a show team that will build and launch a new original show with Archewell
featuring the voices of high-profile women.

‘The ideal candidate has experience working with high-profile talent,
and an interest in the intersection of social activism and popular culture.’

It comes as Spotify faces a mass exodus of stars including Brown, 56, and
Foo Fighters’ Grohl, 53 after Young and Mitchell ditched the platform.

Mitchell joined Young in removing her music from Spotify in protest against their promotion of Rogan‘s vaccine-skeptic views.

Young has lashed out at the outlet for hosting The Joe Rogan Experience
on its site.

Brown said on Saturday she would not be producing more episodes of her
Unlocking Us and Dare to Lead podcasts ‘until further notice’.

She tweeted: ‘I will not be releasing any podcasts until further notice.
To our #UnlockingUs and #DaretoLead communities, I’m sorry and I’ll let you
know if and when that changes. Stay awkward, brave, and kind.’

She did not indicate why she was no longer releasing episodes, but Brown
hosts her podcasts exclusively on Spotify.

Brown is the author of six New York Times bestsellers – The Gifts
of Imperfection, Daring Greatly, Rising Strong, Braving the Wilderness, Dare of
Lead and Atlas of the Heart – and is known for her research on
vulnerability, shame and leadership.

It has also been speculated Grohl might follow suit, but so far that
just remains a rumour.

The group was trending on Twitter on Saturday, and users noted that the
band’s frontman could ‘kill Spotify with ‘I’m out.”

Spotify has lost $4 billion of its value thus far in 2022, losing 25
percent of its stock value last week.

Mitchell, 78, said she was standing ‘in solidarity’ with Young who
demanded Spotify take down his songs unless it stops carrying The Joe Rogan
Experience.

The Big Yellow Taxi hitmaker said the streaming giant was allowing
‘irresponsible people’ to spread lies that were ‘costing people their
lives’. 

Mitchell shared an open letter signed by medical professionals calling
on Spotify to take action against ‘mass-misinformation events’ occurring on its
platform.

‘I’ve decided to remove all my music from Spotify,’ Mitchell said in a
statement on her official website.

‘Irresponsible people are spreading lies that are costing people their
lives. I stand in solidarity with Neil Young and the global scientific and
medical communities on this issue.’

'We Won't Censor But We Do Have Rules': Spotify Finally Responds To Joe Rogan Controversy

The open letter made reference to a specific episode of The Joe Rogan
Experience, released on December 31, 2021, in which ‘baseless conspiracy
theories’ were promoted.

‘By allowing the propagation of false and societally harmful assertions,
Spotify is enabling its hosted media to damage public trust in scientific
research and sow doubt in the credibility of data-driven guidance offered by
medical professionals,’ the letter said.

‘This is not only a scientific or medical concern; it is a sociological
issue of devastating proportions and Spotify is responsible for allowing this
activity to thrive on its platform.

‘We, the undersigned doctors, nurses, scientists, and educators thus
call on Spotify to immediately establish a clear and public policy to moderate
misinformation on its platform.’

It comes as Young praised Spotify’s rival Amazon Music and offered his
fans four months free on the streaming platform.

The musician said Amazon was ‘leading the pack’ in high-quality audio
production and encouraged fans to use the service to access his entire
catalog.

The streaming giant said it ‘regretted’ Young’s decision and hoped to
welcome him back soon.

Young continued his crusade on Friday, publishing an open letter on his
personal website, which opened with the words: ‘When I left SPOTIFY, I felt
better.’ 

The outspoken recording artist alleged that Spotify degrades the quality
of sound by 95% so it could carry more content. 

'We Won't Censor But We Do Have Rules': Spotify Finally Responds To Joe Rogan Controversy

Spotify acquired The Joe Rogan Experience podcast in 2020, reportedly for more than 100 million dollars (£77million)

Turning his attention to his row with Rogan over the podcaster’s
negative views on COVID vaccination, Young wrote: ‘I support free speech. I
have never been in favor of censorship. Private companies have the right to
choose what they profit from, just as I can choose not to have my music support
a platform that disseminates harmful information.

In response to Young’s ultimatum, Spotify has agreed to remove his songs
from its platform, where the singer had 2.4 million followers and over six
million monthly listeners. 

‘We want all the world’s music and audio content to be available to
Spotify users. With that comes great responsibility in balancing both safeties
for listeners and freedom for creators,’ the streaming company’s representative
told Variety. 

‘We have detailed content policies in place and we’ve removed over
20,000 podcast episodes related to COVID since the start of the pandemic. We
regret Neil’s decision to remove his music from Spotify, but hope to welcome
him back soon.’ 

 

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Mr Priceless
A young person with a passion for success and excellence to develop a professional career that encourages empowerment in the overall development of a person which is achieved through hard work. A Journalist with facts and a difference; standing by the truth all the time with interests in Science & Technology, Health, Celebrities' Lifestyle, Crimes, Education and Career Improvement.

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